Bolko II of Opole (Polish: Bolesław II opolski; before 1300 – 21 June 1356), was a Duke of Opole from 1313 (with his brother as co-ruler until 1323).
At the time of his father's death in 1313, Bolko II and his youngest brother Albert inherited the Duchy of Opole as co-rulers; but because at that time both were probably minors, they were placed under the care of their older brother, Bolesław the Elder. Bolko II assumed full government over his domains in 1323, and made the formal division of the Duchy with his brother Albert: he received Strzelce Opolskie and Bolko II retained the main city of Opole.
Thanks to his marriage to Elisabeth, daughter of Duke Bernard of Świdnica, Bolko II had a temporary close connection with the Polish King Władysław I the Elbow-high (paternal grandfather of his wife). However, this alliance was short-lived: on 5 April 1327 in Wrocław, he paid homage to King John of Bohemia; he was the last Silesian Duke who became a vassal of Bohemia.
During his rule in Opole, Bolko II focused on the economical development of his domains. He introduced German laws (see Magdeburg Law) in the villages; also, he supported trade and took care of the state of roads, in order to maintain the safety of travelers.
The good economy of his Duchy was used by Bolko II to obtain more lands: in 1351 he bought the towns of Byczyna and Kluczbork from Duke Wenceslaus I of Legnica and the district of Sławięcice from Duke Bolesław of Bytom.
Bolko II was particularly attached to the Franciscan monastery of Opole. Inside the monastery, he built the Chapel of St. Anna, which became the Family vault of the Dukes of Opole. When Bolko II died on 21 June 1356, he was buried there.
Marriage and issue
By 6 May 1326, Bolko II married Elisabeth (ca. 1315 – 8/9 February 1348), daughter of Duke Bernard of Świdnica. They had seven children:
- Władysław Opolczyk (c. 1332 – 18 May 1401).
- Bolko III (c. 1337 – 21 October 1382).
- Henry (before 18 August 1338 – before 23 October 1365).
- Kunigunde (1340 – after 4 July 1372), a nun at St. Klara in Hungary (Alt-Buda).
- Agnes (c. 1341? – after 1 June 1390), wife of Jobst of Moravia, and nun at Stary Sącz.
- Elisabeth (c. 1342/47? – after 25 April 1382), a nun at Trzebnica.
- Anna (c. 1348? – after 12 March 1411), a nun at St. Klara at Wrocław.
Bolko married a second time to a woman whose name is not recorded. The result of his union was a daughter Agnes, who married Jobst of Moravia.
- Also named Bolko II Henry in some sources.
- According to old chronicles, Bolko II remarried after the death of his wife Elisabeth. The name of his second wife was possibly Margareta, and together they had a daughter, called Agnes, later wife of Margrave Jobst of Moravia, later King of Germany. However, modern historians have debated (and even denied in some cases) the existence of the alleged second wife and daughter of Bolko II. According to the latest researches, this Agnes could be the same as Elisabeth, daughter of Władysław Opolczyk and first (if the existence of Agnes is believed) wife of Jobst. The confusion was in the fact that Elisabeth probably also used the name Agnes (Elisabeth-Agnes), a custom which wasn't unusual at that time (for example, Viola of Cieszyn or Richenza of Poland, later Queens of Bohemia, changed their names to Elisabeth after their marriages; see their Wikipedia articles). Sources who supported the existence of one wife of Jobst: Marek, Miroslav. "Genealogy of the House of Piast". Genealogy.EU.; sources who supported the existence of two wives of Jobst: Genealogical database by Herbert Stoyan, Cawley, Charles, MORAVIA, Medieval Lands database, Foundation for Medieval Genealogy,.